Healthwatch Portsmouth supports Pride Month!

Every year, during the month of June, the LGBT+ community celebrates in a number of different ways. Across the globe, various events are held during this special month as a way of recognising the influence LGBTQ+ people have had around the world. LGBTQ+ stands for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer.

Pride Month is so important because it marks the start of change within the LGBTQ+ community, as well as the wider social implications. Although attitudes and injustice still remain, we have come a long way by continuing in this long standing tradition. We continue to raise awareness, improve the attitudes of society, and encourage inclusiveness.

What is LGBTQ+ or Gay Pride?

LGBT and Gay Pride is a movement that celebrates sexual diversity. For lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBTQ+) people, it is a way of protesting about discrimination and violence. It promotes their dignity, equal rights, self-affirmation and is a way of increasing society’s awareness of the issues they face.

Who Started the June Celebration?

Known as the “Mother of Pride”, it was Brenda Howard who coordinated the first LGBTQ+ Pride march. As well as sparking the idea for a week of events around Pride Day. These events then developed into the annual LGBTQ+ celebrations held every June.

Pride During the Pandemic

2020 was an unprecedented year as the coronavirus pandemic swept across the globe disrupting daily life. As most countries went into various forms of lockdown in an effort to curb the spread of the virus, large events and festivals including pride celebrations, marches and demonstrations were cancelled. As a response to the mass cancellations, many organisations opted to host virtual events.

It is expected that most pride events will return to their previous form in 2022 as vaccine distribution reaches high levels across the world.

Portsmouth Pride

In 2017 Portsmouth Pride was taken on by a group of local LGBTQ+ people have got together to create an LGBTQ+ pride event for the city of Portsmouth. The aim of Pride is to raise awareness through entertainment, and community engagement. For the Portsmouth Pride team, it is about more than just one day. Portsmouth Pride will be taking place virtually this year. Find out more about Portsmouth Pride here.

LGBTQ+ Support in Portsmouth

Switchboard

Switchboard is here for the LGBTQ+ communities and beyond, a safe space for you to ask questions about sexuality and / or gender identity. www.switchboard.lgbt

T: 0300 330 0630 Monday to Sunday, 10:00am to 10:00pm

E: chris@switchboard.lgbt

Mermaids

Mermaids is a dedicated team of staff and volunteers who are determined to offer more support, not less during this period of uncertainty. Helpline, Webchat, Email support and text support services are operating as normal. www.mermaidsuk.org.uk

T: 0808 801 0400 Monday to Friday, 9am to 9pm

E: info@mermaids.org.uk

Portsmouth City Council LGBTQ+ Team

Portsmouth City Council LGBTQ+ Team support young people who are exploring their gender identity / sexuality and their families. If you are in need of support, please contact them.

Email: lgbtyoungpeople@portsmouthcc.gov.uk

Y Services

Y Services are using Zoom to host evening youth groups as a video conference. Email to take part or contact if you are feeling lonely, want to catch up or get something off your shoulders that has been weighing you down. Dawn Tracy LGBT Youth Worker:

T: 07503 353636

E: dawn@yservices.co.uk

Mind

Mind provides advice and support to empower anyone experiencing a mental health problem. There is advice and support via their website for everyone at this crucial time or you can contact them. www.mind.org.uk/information-support/helplines

T: 0300 123 3393 Monday to Friday (except for bank holidays) 9am to 6pm

E: info@mind.org.uk